Homelessness: OC celebrates Potter’s Lane groundbreaking

Groundbreaking ceremony for Potter's Lane, which will provide 16 housing units for homeless veterans.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Potter’s Lane, which will provide 16 housing units for homeless veterans.

Orange County is taking another step in its comprehensive response to homelessness — with a new project to aid homeless veterans.

This month, Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do joined community leaders for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Potter’s Lane Housing Development. When completed, the Midway City project will provide affordable housing to homeless veterans.

“Our veterans deserve housing that will get them off the streets into a safe environment they can call home,” said Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, who has led the county’s homeless response. “I’m grateful to American Family Housing and Community Development Partners for their leadership in providing the necessary support to people who are homeless.”

Supervisor Andrew Do & Executive Director Gallup

Supervisor Andrew Do & Executive Director Donna Gallup

The innovative housing development project uses cargo shipping containers that will be transformed into customizable private living quarters for veterans.

American Family Housing, the non-profit organization behind the project, said that, when completed, the project will also provide veterans with access to wrap-around services.

“We’re overjoyed to break ground on the sixteen Potter’s Lane residences which will provide a safe space for homeless veterans,” said AFH president and CEO Donna Gallup. “Tackling veteran homelessness requires a new way of thinking, with an emphasis on building a platform from which people can better manage mental illness and lost dignity.”

By modifying steel shipping containers, the housing development is not only “green” but cost effective. Research suggests steel shipping containers are an excellent source for unbreakable building materials in earthquake country.

The sixteen new housing units are expected to be open this Veterans Day.

Potter’s Lane is just part of Orange County’s ongoing effort to provide housing to homeless individuals and low-income families.

Earlier this year, the county adopted Supervisor Andrew Do’s proposal for a homeless czar. As Orange County’s inaugural Social Care Coordinator, Susan Price is charged with cutting through red tape and coordinating existing social services to help get people off the streets and into secure housing.

“Orange County is committed to getting people off the streets and onto a productive path to self-sufficiency,” said OC Supervisor Andrew Do.